A day in the life of… a dancer

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Harry Galloway, 19, is just starting the second year of his degree course at the Rambert School in East Twickenham

20160726_090814‘I was heavily bullied when I was younger as I had dyslexia and wanted to dance. But that all changed when I got into the National Youth Company – the best in the country – and then passed the audition to get into Rambert – my dream school. About 70% of my degree is dance, but 30% is the history of dance and I find it difficult writing the essays.

‘I’m up at 6am and at school by eight. We warm up for an hour before the first ballet class starts at 9am, which lasts a couple of hours. We’ll have a break and then go onto contemporary dance or conditioning, followed by technique. After lunch we’ll practise pas de deux (a duet) and contemporary dance, finishing at about 6.30pm. We are all working on our own pieces, too, so there’s usually a swarm to get to the rehearsal room first to work on choreography until 8pm.

‘Everyone in my year has really gelled. There are about 20 girls and eight boys. We’ve come from all over – Birmingham, Liverpool, Australia, Asia, Poland and Russia. There’s an unspoken competitiveness between us – and I’m often thinking ‘He’s the one I need to watch’. It’s healthy to have rivalry, it pushes you on.

‘I did have a job in Weatherspoons for a while, but I couldn’t keep it up, working late and then trying to focus on dance. In my downtime I rest, eat and dance, dance, dance. There are no weekends and I don’t drink or smoke – why would I?

‘The school is brilliant because it teaches not just dance, but the importance of nutrition and how to look after your body, with lessons on bio-mechanics.

‘I sprained my foot a few months back, during a pirouette, and was out for weeks. I had physio and rehab here every day, which saved the mobility in my ankle.

‘Contemporary dance is my favourite but I have a renewed passion for ballet, too. My dream job would be to dance for the Rambert company or Ballet Boyz, who do jaw-dropping work.

‘Like all dancers, I just love the joy of movement.’

From September, Rambert School will also be running classes for children, young people and adults on Saturday mornings and selected weekday evenings for beginners. There is an Open Day on 10 September. More info at rambertschool.org.uk

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